Session 4 - Farewell Lessons from Nebuchadnezzar
Be merciful to the poor
In the session, Beth Moore makes a comparison of verses 4 and 27 of chapter 4.
Daniel 4:4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was living in my palace in comfort and prosperity.
Daniel 4:27 `O King Nebuchadnezzar, please listen to me. Stop sinning and do what is right. Break from your wicked past by being merciful to the poor. Perhaps then you will continue to prosper.
King Nebuchadnezzar was living the high life in style and ultimate comfort with apparently no end in sight to his increasing wealth and prosperity. However, his dream was a warning that he was about to fall and fall hard. Daniel interpreted the dream and then gave the king a warning in verse 27. In all his lavish lifestyle Nebuchadnezzar (by the way, it is still not easy to type his name) had no concern for the poor or their needs.
The translation for the word merciful is defined as "to be favorable, be kind, be gracious; to pity, have mercy, to bestow; to complain; to make lovely". The last part of this was interesting in that "complaining" is a form of having mercy. There is so much poverty in this world but not many stand up and publically 'complain' about it. Not many stand up and try to make it right.
Beth Moore said something in this session that struck me deeply, "if you can buy a book and be able to read it you are among the rich and privileged of this world". We are so spoiled in this part of the world that we easily take books and education for granted. As I recall all the time I spent in the last few days reviewing so many curriculums I am amazed at how many choices there are - and that is just for kindergarten! And part of why I am homeschooling kindergarten is because Sam cannot start public school until next year - which is a free option available to anyone who lives in this country! We have so many choices for educating our children, so why are there so many issues with the education system. Perhaps in this area this country has become too content living in comfort and prosperity??
The tree dream
Daniel 4:23 Then you saw a messenger, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, "Cut down the tree and destroy it. But leave the stump and the roots in the ground, bound with a band of iron and bronze and surrounded by tender grass. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven. Let him eat grass with the animals of the field for seven periods of time.
We all know that there are times in our lives when God has to bring us down so far that the only way we can see is up to Him. This vision of the tree being cut down to the stump is the same idea. Nebuchadnezzar had to be cut right down until he could recognize God and the one and only God.
But isn't it comforting that God did not destroy the tree, instead he wrapped the stump with iron and bronze. He would allow it to grow back. It is comforting to know that we are always protected, being wrapped in His arm, even as we are being conformed!